Ani Lorak (Ukrainian: Ані Лорак) (Karolina Myroslavivna Kuiek, Ukrainian: Кароліна Мирославівна Куєк, alternate transliterations of the last name: Kuyek, Kuek, born 27 September 1978, Kitsman, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union) is a Ukrainian pop singer.
She appeared to be a strong front-runner to represent Ukraine at the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, but ultimately failed to be selected. Her narrow defeat in the 2005 national pre-selection competition was particularly controversial, given that the winners GreenJolly had, unlike her, not had to qualify for the final by winning one of the fifteen preliminary heats.
Lorak represented Ukraine at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Shady Lady and came in 2nd place being defeated by Dima Bilan from Russia. She came second in the «Press Award Eurovision Song Contest»and won the «Artistic Award» for her performance.
Karolina developed the desire to become a singer as early as the age of four. Karolina often performed at various school vocal competitions. In 1992, she took part in the popular contest 'Pervotsvit' and was the winner. It was here where she met her ex-producer Yuriy Falyosa. As a result, at the age of 14 she signed her first professional contract.
Karolina became known as Ani Lorak in March 1995 when she took part in a contest at the television program "Morning Star" in Moscow, Russia. There was a Russian singer with the same name already enrolled in that competition. In order to save the situation, Karolina had to invent a stage name. Ani Lorak is the nameKarolina read backwards.
Ani Lorak moved to Kiev in 1995. By that time her name was well known in Ukrainian show business. She became even more popular after winning the "Big Apple Music 1996 Competition" in New York, U.S.. She became "Discovery of the Year" at the popular Ukrainian festival "Tavria Games" in 1996. The same year she released her first album "I Want to Fly".
1997 was a year full of hard work for Ani, as she continued recording new songs. Her two videos "The Model" and "My God" were filmed and the latter became a soundtrack to the movie "The Right to Choose".
In the spring of 1998 her new video "I will be back" was shot and in December Lorak's second album "I will be back" was released. Mastering of this album took place in New York. Simultaneously her two music videos "Oh my love" and "A Stranger's City" were filmed to accompany her new album.
At the outset of 1999 she started extensive touring, performing in the US, France, Germany, Hungary, and her concerts took place in every major city of Ukraine. In 1999 she earned the title of the Honored Artist of Ukraine (Zasluzhena Artystka Ukrayiny).
In the spring of 2000 Ani Lorak recorded the soundtrack for an advert for the Chocolate "Korona" at the London studio "Astoria". Here, the singer met Britishcomposers Burrie Guard and Josh Phillips. Also, in London Lorak recorded new songs.
In 2005, Ani Lorak made her first attempt to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest and was virtually certain to sing the home country's entry in Kiev, but finallyGreenjolly with Razom Nas Bahato, Nas Ne Podolaty won, Ani getting the second place with the song Smile.
Having come close to singing the home country's entry in 2005, when Ukraine staged the Eurovision Song Contest, Ukrainian television NTU announced in late December that Ani Lorak, one of the country's most successful singers would represent the country at Eurovision in Belgrade and that the public and a jury would choose the song. On February 23, Ani performed five potential entries, in a special show and the winner, chosen by both the public and by the jury was "Shady Lady", written by Russian songwriter Philip Kirkorov.
She also recorded a Russian version of her Eurovision song "Shady Lady" with the title "S neba v nebo". Ani had visited other countries to present her song, like Malta, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain and Germany.
At the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade, she sang the song "Shady Lady" in the second semi final on May 22, 2008 winning a place in the final. She then went on to second place in the final being defeated by Dima Bilan. She was awarded a prize for being the Best Artist at the contest from the media.
The Italian designer Roberto Cavalli designed the dress of Ani Lorak in the festival, a dress made with Swarovski Diamonds, and her choreography is made by Fokas Evangelinos who designed the stage show for the entry and also arranged the stage shows of Greece 2005, Russia 2006 and Belarus 2007.